Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 11, 2011

Submit Your Questions for Donna’s Interview

©7-11-1l at Skywriter

 One of the winning entries in the recent contest for new article ideas was the suggestion that I be interviewed about myself and my career. My first response was, “No Way!!” Here’s how things unfolded: 

Chasmatazz: How about an interview with Donna Cunningham? It could be a question-and-answer with Donna Cunningham, wherein the readers ask you questions – not astrology questions, but probing personal questions, in the style of Barbara Walters, and you choose which ones to answer?

Donna, tell us about the first time you ever had a professional reading.

 Donna, what is your favorite planet?

 Donna, tell us about the worst client you ever had.

Don’t know who we’d get to do it, though.

Karen: I volunteer to be the interviewer! Would be very gentle;-) All Oprah~esque. Come on Donna … it would be fun! First Q: What has been the best part of being a professional astrologer for four decades?

Donna: If you promise not to be Barbara Walters, I’ll promise not to be Harrison Ford, the worst interviewee on record.

Note: I finally gave in, and we’ll do that this weekend, so think about your questions. Lest you conclude that it’s ego on my part, I must tell you that I’m the least likely person to ever have a reality show on cable. I’m extremely private and call myself an urban hermit—I love going out with friends, but am pretty much a recluse otherwise. However, one of my missions for this blog is to get more comfortable with being self-revealing, and that’s why I’m agreeing to do this.

So, Readers, here’s your chance to ask me about myself.  What sort of questions?  Oh, what I was planning to do for a living before astrology shanghaied me. How do I keep on writing, year after year, without running out of things to write about.  What are the proudest moments in my career? Will I ever retire completely?  Things like that. 

For a summary of my background, see About Me.

UPDATE: Thanks, folks!  The comment section is closed after about 70 great questions.  They’ve sorted themselves out into two categories–personal and professional–so I’ll do features on both.  Here’s the first: 10 Quick Questions You Asked Donna.

 

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Responses

  1. Hi Donna! What’s the most challenging chart you’ve ever read (technically speaking), and why? How did your consultation with that client go and what happened after the reading?

  2. Who do you turn to when you need YOUR chart interpreted. What’s the most useful thing another astrologer made you aware of that you had not been able to see on your own in your chart?

    • Wow! 2 great questions not 5 minutes after this post was published! Donna

  3. How do you handle difficult transits when reading a client’s chart? Especially if it looks like the potential for something really bad, like a serious illness, accident, or even possible death (I know it’s unethical to predict death to clients, but I’m sure you have seen charts out there that are potential train wrecks.)

  4. I like the eerie stuff. Have you ever foretold something that was really amazing, like someone winning the lottery or having triplets or??

    and do you have cats??

    • haha i love this! having cats is eerie! ;)

      • people who own cats tend to be creative, a bit quirky, and have no tolerance for clingy and neurotic pets. I like animals that do pretty much what they please, and give affection on their terms. I’ve owned three cats in my lifetime, I adore them!

        Cats were associated with witches back in the day, and this gives a certain mystique to female cat owners :)

  5. The fiction writing you did – the mysteries on e-book (loved them!). Was that accomplished under a certain transit? And did you wait for it, or did it ‘push’ you to write?

  6. 1. What has been the best part of being a professional astrologer?

    2. What has been the worst part of being a professional astrologer?

    3. Have you used astro*cartography to pick where you live?

    4. I know that books are like your babies, but which is your favorite among the books you’ve written? Why?

    5. Which has been the most difficult astrological transit in your life experience?

    6. Have you routinely done synastry charts for all friends and lovers? Do you share the information with them?

    7. What is your proudest achievement?

    8. With your MSW and background in social work you seem to be a ‘Counseling Astrologer,’ combining astrology & psychology; is this your favorite approach?

    9. Which have you enjoyed more; writing astrology books & your Dell column or actual chart readings for people and conferences interacting with other astrologers?

    10. You’ve done chart readings, written books & columns, spoken at conferences and now provide an excellent astrological blog for others to learn from; is there anything else you want to do in the field of astrology?

  7. I would love to know more about your journey with flower essences and how you were guided to use them to help your clients. Your information on them is very unique and detailed, how did that come to you?

  8. Your doing such an excellent job with your blog..the medium seems to work for you. My question how does one not get burned out on people and their astrology charts and the endless queries for insights etc. I find I love to do the chart but then regret the personal analysis and or caring aspect. I end up simply hoping to spur others on to astrology to do their own study etc. finally have you ever lost belief or faith in the medium…especially when analyzing transits and their validity?

  9. By the way All the questions given above by others are also my own. Especially which transit was the worst you’ve personally dealt with.
    Thanks again for your skywriter which I am dedicated to now. :)

  10. What was your preparation for writing “Healing Pluto Problems?” Was it personal experience? Or clients’ experiences? I read this book many years back and loved it. I lent it to someone and never got it back, unfortunately, so I cannot reference it now. I will probably buy a new one. But from my personal experience, because of its regenerative nature, Pluto problems seem to be mostly managed, rather than truly healed. (I know you once spoke of your Mercury/Pluto aspect, if I’m not mistaken.) Just curious about the evolution of this book. Thanks, Regine

    • Ugh! It’s so annoying to lend someone something and never get it back. Especially, a good book!

  11. Is there anything in particular that makes you smile when you look at someones chart?

    • Thanks, Donna. Boy, I should have brought my chart along some years back, ha? My timing was never very good! I’m really looking forward to the interview!

  12. Ok.. I have a question. Were there any moments in your studies of astrology that really overturned what you knew? Were there any learning experiences that changed your approach to astrology? I’m not just talking about technical aspects (although I am kind of curious about that) but also maybe readings or other client related things.

  13. What were the transits in your chart that sparked your love for astrology? What was the instance that sparked your interest? Did it come by reading your daily horoscope or something else?

  14. How big a part do you think healing tools should play in an astrologer’s counselling practice? Do you think an astrologer should only give factual information, or should s/he also suggest some therapeutical methods if the client seems to be in need of some inner/emotional healing?

  15. How are your own strong Pluto placement and Gemini stellium helpful (and maybe sometimes not so helpful) in your work?

    How did you minimize personal projection when you do a reading?

    What qualities and qualifications should one look for in an astrologer? or, What qualities and qualifications do you look for in an astrologer when you need your chart read?

  16. In past postings you have mentioned some of your mentors…can you whittle down your list and call out your top 3 favorites.

    • yes, good question!

  17. Is there a natal Moon sign you would prefer not to ever experience and why?

    • lol! I can’t believe you actually answered this! I confess: I wanted to ask “which signs you love to hate”, but I thought you wouldn’t entertain such questions. Shame on me for underestimating your arian bravery!

      Now that Paula got you going, could you share some thoughts as to the WHY?

      Bad experience with a Scorpio moon? Specific features of this moon (if so, which?) Or, simply, no chemistry?

      And, does this extend to the sign in general, or is it just the moon that pushes your buttons?

      xxx

      • The problem with answering the WHY part of the question is that we then get into my own biases, which would then be like proclaiming that as the nature of Scorpio Moon. Any problem a person has with a particular sign or placement is basically THEIR problem. Donna

      • Sigh. . . Two of my daughters have Scorpio Moons!

        For a long time I was “Scorpio-phobic”. Once I took your tests, however, I was amazed to find that I was more Plutonic than most of the Scorpios I know! Now I think that it’s a person with a strong Saturn I find most problematic. But I digress!

        Thanks so much for sharing your chart. I see that we have strong connections apparently making it easy for me to learn from you. And I’ve learned so much. I’m very grateful.

        Beautiful pix, too!

  18. Somebody already kind of asked, but what inspired you to write your book about Pluto?

  19. Belated Happy Birthday greetings to you
    and wishes for a fabulous year.

  20. Hi Donna:

    Belated Happy Birthday! How does your SR looks like for this year?
    As far as questions, I would like to ask two things:
    1) What is your method to prepare for a chart reading
    2) What is the legacy you want to leave for future generations of astrologers?

  21. As a healer, how to you balance your own need for self healing with providing this service to others? Note that I mean not only in your astrological career, but also your social work, etc. What sort of work needs to be done before you feel you/anyone is ready to provide this service to others?

  22. If there is one little gem of advice you could offer to newbie astrologers; something that if heeded, will save them years of grief figuring it out the hard way, what would that one message be???

    • Ooh! Good one!

  23. Way behind the eight ball here
    Donna where is your chart posted?

  24. Duh!
    Obviously you’re a Gemini or a Cancer. Again everyones questions are my own. Looking forward to your replies. I would bet a Gemini

  25. Well, it seems my question has already been asked by Jenny B.
    And the good one about cats!! doh!

    See what happens when you’re a day late…

  26. I can’t wait to read the answers! thanks for all the good questions everyone! donna, thanks so much for agreeing to do this :)

  27. Thank you Donna,
    As a newish Astrologer I am overwhelmed with all of the forcasting techniques that astrologers seem to use.
    You have said that when forcasting that you just stick to transits. Why is this?

  28. I was so impressed by the Astrologers Memorial you conceived and launched. I noticed to my surprise that you were also credited as the Web Designer for the site, and did it via “Word of Mouth Web Design”.

    You were a Web Designer??? With a web design business???

    Will you please tell us a bit about this unsung bit of personal history?

  29. Donna, What originally convinced you of the validity of astrology? How did you come to it in the first place? And how did you weave it into your social work background?

  30. Hi Donna,
    I’m so glad there’s still chance for more questions. Loved the first round of answers!
    One question would be: How do you get people to share so much, so deeply in this blog. Is amazing and wonderful, because we all get to learn tons. So besides the gemini stellium in 11H that you mention, is there any other indicators that suggests that in your chart?

    Also: Was there a time that astrology just didn’t seem to reflect what you, or someone close, were going through?

    Thank you!

  31. Here’s another round:

    1) First time you saw your chart: initial thoughts and gut reactions

    2) What’s your favourite sign, and why? Which qualities, in particular.

    3) What do you love about being a Cancer. What do you hate about being a Cancer.

    4) The most important person (man, friend or family) of your life. His/her sun/moon signs. The most meaningful contacts in your synastry.

    5) We obviously all love our chart as it is (most of the time!)- it’s who we are. But, that said, hypothetically, what would you change about yours if you had the chance?

  32. OK, here’s some.

    When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    How do you feel about the current state of the world?

    Is there any dream you haven’t yet accomplished?

    Who are your heroes?

  33. Hi
    Thanks for this opportunity. The question is about fate versus free will in a person life. What is your opinion about it? Do certain placements in a chart speak of an individual who`s life is more fated than others or of someone instead who has more free will? If yes, which are the ones that you would point out?
    Thanks a lot

  34. Belated birthday greetings and thanks for having such a wonderful generous spirit. Looking back at the “preference” thing you dared to answer, I thought I might attempt to elaborate my own take and hopefully give insight . As an Aries Moon I sometimes find Scorpio Moons overwhelming, simply because my Aries heroine wants to dip into that murky pool and help their crises, when perhaps, in truth their feet need to touch the bottom to springboard themselves back up to the surface and anyone who dares to interfere with that process, however helpfully intended, can get burned, drowned. That said I have, and expect you do too, Scorpio Moon friends who would go to the ends of the earth from me on their good days!

    My (finally she gets to the point!!) question is this : What would be a perfect day for you, Donna?

  35. for ..not from..oopsie!

  36. What are your recommendations for choosing an astrologer? There are so many out there and it’s an expensive enough service that many of us can’t afford to get several different readings to see whose service is the best.

  37. No, no, no, and again NO. I continue to be rejected and repelled from any answers on Donna’s weblog. I have never posted anything disrespectful. I have not posted highly emotional messages either. This post will also likely be ignored since it is being done on a void of course moon. I have had to jump through continual hoops to join blogs since Donna’s wonderful weblog has come onto the ‘Net. Every time I try to post some response or question, I hit a brick wall and have to sign on to a new blog. I have already posted that I give up, none of the respected members of the astrology community want to listen to any of the gentle questions I have asked. Shame on you! I cannot afford to travel to astrology seminars to become part of your apparently tight little community. And I did not feel that way three years ago, before Donna started her blog community. Can somebody just give me a quick clean explanation of what I have done wrong???

    • Millie, your post is present & accounted for:) As a blogger myself, comments can be moderated by the author and people aren’t online all the time:) I also wonder if it has something to do with your PC / firewall security settings if you have this issue on multiple sites?

    • Millicent, I have no idea what is going wrong. As I explained the last time you posted a similar message, each post IS separate, but it is always the same blog. Once one of your comments has been moderated, any comment coming from the same email address is automatically approved and will be included in the comment section. Just as the comment above was automatically added.

      Again, the only time you have to take any action is if you want all the comments on that particular article to come to your email address. Then you check the little box under your comment that says, ” Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” But that is optional. If you don’t want them, just ignore the box, and your comment will be posted anyway.

      This is only the third comment of yours that I have ever seen, all three seeming to be emotionally upset to the extreme. No “gentle questions” have appeared. And, no, I am NOT online, waiting and watching eagerly for comments. There are times, even, when I might not be online for a day or longer. I do have a life.

      And as my regular readers know, I don’t answer each and every comment. About one in four, and that’s probably stretching it. They don’t seem to take it personally, as all I am doing here is transmitting information and providing a forum for discussion.

      You say, “Shame on you! I cannot afford to travel to astrology seminars to become part of your apparently tight little community. And I did not feel that way three years ago, before Donna started her blog community.”

      I never go to astrology seminars either, and doubt that I have ever met any of the people who comment regularly here in person. So I am sorry that you feel so alienated and that I am somehow responsible for your alienation, but I don’t feel that I personally have caused it. Rather it would seem that a sense of alienation is more of a core issue for you, a painful one, but not one I know how to cure. Donna

      .

  38. There’s not a comment link to the Q & A responses you posted, but if you have the time I do have a new question.

    BackStory: You mentioned that your Chiron is at 14 Leo, and I see it’s in your 1st house. And that made me think – I look at charts when someone’s Sun is in aspect to mine, or their Pluto. But I never thought to consider how a person’s Chiron might act in aspect to mine (16 AQR).

    Question: So, would you say your 1st house Leo Chiron placement denotes a certain type of healing you provide to others as it works in your personal chart? and If so How?

    • I think the healing work I’ve done (psychotherapy, astrology, and a variety of healing tools like essences, as well as the self-help writing) is a melding of the energies of Pluto, Mars, and Chiron. Donna

  39. Re: your chart. Do you think that your Mars/Pluto conjunction confers an unusual amount of stamina/energy/vitality even tho it’s not a real close conjunction?

    With your Sun and Mercury in different signs AND different houses, do you find that you have difficulty expressing who you are? For example, you are Cancer Sun, but you think/express as a Gemini. Does that confuse some people? (Based on the clarity of your writing, I would think not. Just checking on the veracity of something I once learned.)

  40. Donna,
    How has astrology helped you in your own life? Could you be candid about some of your worst moments and how knowing what was is in your chart helped you through it?
    Bonnie

  41. I knew it! I knew Moon in Scorpio would be your least favorite placement!
    It’s mine, as well, and I have a Scorpio Moon! Ha!

    Some of my closest friends have Aries Suns/Moons. I find them very entertaining!

  42. I have a question regarding your chart, if you don’t min answering it of course: what is your view of your leo ascendant conjunct pluto? How does this aspect manifest itself in your life and personality?

    I’m asking because my mother also has her leo ascendant conjunct pluto, and throughout my life she has always reminded me and my siblings that one day she will die. To me it sounds as if Pluto, with its theme of death, rebirth etc, is something that she always have felt present, and according to my father ever since they first met in their 30′s she has predicted that she would die at 50 – today she’s 54, but she is still convinced that her death is emminent.

    The point is that my mother has a great fear, and fascination I think, of dying (particularly of growing old and “ugly”, which probably is the leo talking) and she constantly talks about death.. She is simply very morbid, and my question to you is therefore: how does pluto on a leo ascendant describe you? Does this at all sound like you, and how do you handle such strong plutonian energies?

    • Ps: coincidentally enough she is also a cancer with mercury in gemini! Her moon is in early taurus, though. DS

    • Please forgive me for jumping into this question for Donna. My brother in law is a Sag sun with Pluto bang on his Leo Asc. He used to ride motor cycle speedway and broke every bone in his body, or near enough at various times, diced with death constantly, drives his fast car so fast it’s scary..scuba dives and runs out of air, several times, got tangled up in metal chains on the seabed last week. Dives into water that’s dangerous, and comes up safely again and again. Prince Charles also has Pluto on Leo ascendant..and he used to be a real daredevil, diving beneath the polar ice cap etc. Looking death in the face and meeting it with a celebration of life? I have Pluto in Leo on my desc and my husband fits that one. Best wishes, and bless you Donna for all you give so warmly. Nobody here knows me personally but I always feel strangely free as a bird, safe to share without feeling that shy “should I post, should I not” stuff, which says more about my Chiron in Cap in 11th than about anyone here I guess, but Donna is the warm beacon here. Thankyou x

  43. Was there ever a time when one of your consultation turned sour and in retrospec, what would have you done differently to avoid such a situation ?

  44. Tell us the story of your most successful Healing via Astrology ?


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